Abstract: A novel type of environmentally friendly packaging with antibacterial activity was developed from lauric arginate (LAE)-coating of polylactic acid (PLA) films after surface activation using a corona discharge. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM)-based analysis of the LAE/PLA films confirmed the successful coating of LAE on the PLA surface. The mechanical properties of the LAE/PLA films with different levels of LAE-coating (0% to 2.6%[w/w]) were essentially the same as those of the neat PLA film. The antibacterial activity of the LAE/PLA films against Listeria monocytogenes and Salmonella enterica Serovar Typhimurium (S. Typhimurium) was confirmed by a qualitative modified agar diffusion assay and quantitative JIS Z 2801:2000 method. Using the LAE/PLA film as a food-contact antimicrobial packaging for cooked cured ham, as a model system, suggested a potential application to inhibit L. monocytogenes and S. Typhimurium on ham with a 0.07% (w/w) LAE coating on the PLA when high transparency is required, as evidenced from the 2 to 3 log CFU/tested film lower pathogen growth after 7 d storage but even greater antibacterial activity is obtained with a LAE coating level of 2.6% (w/w) but at the cost of a reduced transparency of the finished product. This article shows how we can simply develop functional green packaging of PLA for food with effective and efficient antimicrobial activity by use of LAE coating on the surface via corona discharge.
Practical Application: The effectiveness of an innovative antimicrobial LAE-coated PLA film against foodborne pathogens was demonstrated. Importantly, the application of the LAE to form the LAE-coated PLA film can be customized within current film manufacturing lines.